We’ve received several questions lately about how tough the winters are in various regions of the Redoubt. Most folks simply look to annual snowfall as saying it all. But here is a set of maps showing by county how many winter weather warnings and advisories were issued in a five year period. The results may surprise you.
The other factor to keep in mind as you evaluate winter severity is to keep in mind micro-climates. If you pull data on winter stats for a region, we can show you specific properties on opposite sides of a small lake in almost any neighborhood which will have very different winter experiences. In mountainous terrain, two factors which SIGNIFICANTLY affect micro-climate are:
- Elevation. The higher you are, the colder your air, and you’ll be getting snow when everyone in the valley is getting rain. Plus, your snow will stick around much longer than those at lower altitude.
- Facing. The Redoubt is in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, in winter the sun is low in the sky toward the south. So if your property faces south, you get more sunlight and therefore more warmth and more melting. If your property faces south, such as on the north slope of a mountain, you might not even see the sun and you’ll still be buried in snow while your neighbor across the valley is mowing his lawn.
But in between regional data and mirco-locale data, these maps give an interesting view as to how often your local weatherman will advise you to stay home during the winter. Here’s one for example, but check out all the winter maps now under “Resources” -> “Maps” -> “USA overview” -> “Climate: Winter Weather Warnings”.